Pedosphere 29(5): 642--655, 2019
ISSN 1002-0160/CN 32-1315/P
©2019 Soil Science Society of China
Published by Elsevier B.V. and Science Press
Assessment of Seasonal and Site-Specific Variations in Soil Physical, Chemical and Biological Properties Around Opencast Coal Mines
Bhanu PANDEY1,2, Arideep MUKHERJEE1, Madhoolika AGRAWAL1, Siddharth SINGH2
1Laboratory of Air Pollution and Global Climate Change, Department of Botany, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi 221005(India)
2Natural Resources and Environment Management Group, Central Institute of Mining and Fuel Research(CSIR), Dhanbad 826 015(India)
      Coal mining adversely affects soil quality around opencast mines. Therefore, a study was conducted in 2010 and 2011 to assess seasonal and site-specific variations in physical, chemical, and biological properties of soil collected at different distances from mining areas in the Jharia coalfield, India. Throughout the year, the soil in sites near coal mines had a significantly higher bulk density, temperature, electrical conductivity, and sulfate and heavy metal contents and a significantly lower water-holding capacity, porosity, moisture content, pH, and total nitrogen and available phosphorus contents, compared with the soil collected far from the mines. However, biological properties were site-specific and seasonal. Soil microbial biomass carbon (MBC) and nitrogen (MBN), MBC/MBN, and soil respiration were the highest during the rainy season and the lowest in summer, with the minimum values in the soil near coal mines. A soil quality index revealed a significant effect of heavy metal content on soil biological properties in the coal mining areas.
Key Words:  heavy metal,microbial biomass,mining area,soil property,soil quality index,soil respiration
Citation: Pandey B, Mukherjee A, Agrawal M, Singh S. 2019. Assessment of seasonal and site-specific variations in soil physical, chemical and biological properties around opencast coal mines. Pedosphere. 29(5): 642-655.
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